by Jasmine Zapata, MD
Hello! Welcome to this week’s edition of Brown Girl Green Money. We are a social network of women of color working to achieve financial freedom and support each other along the way. Thanks for joining us again this week!
Last week, Angie (fellow member of the BGGM crew) wrote an excellent article entitled “How to live like a baller, without living like a baller.” In this article she reflected on the spending habits of former NFL player Ryan Broyles and how he is able to operate on a 5k monthly budget despite the millions of dollars he has made in the NFL. Although 5k per month may seem like a lot, compared to what he could be spending this is not much. She then reflected on how in her own personal life she is faced with decisions daily regarding living frugally versus going after more expensive choices. The main point of the article was sacrificing now, to reap the benefits in the future – it was excellent!
Her article caused me to reflect on my own situation and the daily choices that I make regarding my financial future. The definition of sacrifice is “an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.” This seems self-explanatory but sometimes making these daily decisions is not as easy as it seems. Sacrifice can at times have dual meanings. For example, I’m currently working to finish paying off some of my high interest debt and save for my next real estate acquisition which will ultimately help me in my quest toward achieving financial freedom and building a better future for my family. This is definitely something worth sacrificing for! However, I am often conflicted with daily financial decisions that have the potential to knock me off track from reaching this goal. For example, I was just in Wisconsin Dells this weekend having a much needed time of rest and relaxation with my family. While there, I struggled with the decision of whether or not to go to my favorite, yet expensive, restaurant the Double Cut. They have the BEST Alaskan king crab legs ever! If you know me, you know that crab legs are my favorite! I also stressed out the whole week leading up to the trip over which hotel to stay at and if we should even go on the spontaneous trip in the first place. In the end, I ended up going on the vacation, enjoying two days of waterpark fun with my family and feasting on crab legs at the Double Cut. We had so much fun and made so many memories! Yes, I could have easily saved that money, invested it or used it to pay off a portion of my high interest debt, but that was not the decision I ended up making. In this situation, the “sacrifice” was giving up temporarily my passion/obsession for saving, being frugal and paying off debt for something that I regarded at the time as “more important or worthy” – treating myself, relieving stress, and making memories with my family. Can I do this every weekend? Absolutely not, but I don’t regret the decision that I made. I did manage to end the trip frugally by forcing us to eat leftovers from the night before instead of eating out the final day of the trip. That was a plus!
In closing, I believe that in your quest toward achieving financial freedom it is very important to live frugally and to make sacrifices. But it is also important to find a balance between saving for the future and living your life to the fullest. This balance is hard to achieve, but is definitely possible. The great thing about living frugally is that it allows you the flexibility to even have the option to occasionally splurge in the first place.
Also, it is important to remember that sacrifice can have a dual meaning- at times it may mean holding off on your long term dreams to take advantage of the moments right in front of you, which in some cases may be the true thing that is more important or worthy at the moment. In the end, finding a nice balance between the two is key and is something I am aiming to get better at each day.
How do you balance enjoying life while at the same time living a life of frugality? Do you have tips that have worked for you that may inspire others? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a blessed day!
Jasmine Zapata, MD is a pediatrician, motivational speaker, public/preventive health advocate, mentor, mother, wife, and entrepreneur from the Madison area, whose mission is to heal, uplift, empower and inspire. She’d love to keep the conversation going and can be reached at www.facebook.com/browngirlgreenmoney, www.drjasminezapata.com or at email@example.com.